“High Society” Spotlights Brits, Cops, and the Elderly Getting Introduced to Pot
The Channel 4 series received criticism for being too nonchalant in its depiction of weed use, but the creators consider it a “study of human relationships, told with warmth and humor.”
Published on September 27, 2019

All photos courtesy of "High Society"

Could a British TV show about relationships taking place in an Amsterdam cannabis café dispel myths about the plant and help couples, friends and relatives better understand each other under the haze of joint smoke? That’s what Channel 4’s High Society: Cannabis Café aims to do, amid controversy and criticism that it’s treating “casual drug use with a flippancy afforded only to the privileged,” according to one columnist.

If the show sounds familiar to MERRY JANE readers, we reported on the first episode’s most notable incident, when two former drug squad cops caught up over a joint, with one of them suffering a “whitey” and quickly getting sick from the high. The show’s mission is to film British folks visiting the Coffee Shop cannabis café in Amsterdam, with cameras and mics catching how they approach cannabis and how they sort through conflicts bubbling up among the visitors. 

“In the end, it’s a relationship show,” Steph Harris, executive producer of High Society: Cannabis Café, told MERRY JANE in a phone interview. “Cannabis can foster intimacy and can break down barriers, and for some people, using cannabis is something they want to cross off their bucket list.”

David Silverberg
David Silverberg is a freelance journalist in Toronto who regularly writes for The Washington Post, BBC News, Vice, NOW Magazine, the City of Toronto and many more. His cannabis journalism has appeared in High Times Magazine, Lift & Co, PROHBTD, The Globe & Mail and For 12 years, he was the editor-in-chief of online news network Find him at
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